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LEAD Strategic Process

May 8, 2024 - update

The LEAD Team had our third meeting this past Wednesday (May 8). The meeting was focused on the following:

•    Continued discernment of God's word and discussing different versions, interpretations, and messages in Acts 8. How the images and meanings inspire us to think differently about Philip and Ethiopian Eunuch. 

•    Pastor Amy shared paragraphs on discernment and change from Acts: Catching up with the Spirit (the discussion topic in Adult Education) that was thought-provoking.

•    Prayerfully preparing for listening sessions to help lead us all to what God is calling us to do.


The next meeting is scheduled for May 22 and will include our LEAD consultant, Deacon Peggy Hahn. 

•    We will continue our spiritual discernment with the study and discussion of scripture.

•     Review the findings from the Communications Audit and any recommended changes. 

•    We will also be further refining plans for the listening sessions that will begin in June.

Overall, investing in the time for discernment is proving to be integral part of the process. We are all learning that this is how the Holy Spirit will guide us to best serve God’s purpose for St. James and the world around us. 

April 2024 - update 

The LEAD (Living Everyday As Disciples) strategic planning process is now in month two and the team had the second scheduled meeting this past week.  Many of you have asked how things are going and what to expect next.  Here is a progress update along with some background information and expected next steps:

  • Background 

    • Our Congregation Council voted to engage the LEAD organization  to assist with our strategic planning and the congregation approved the investment at the Annual Financial Meeting January 28th, 2024.

    • LEAD’s work is built on Adaptive Discipleship which is made known through:  the acts of the apostles, the work of the early church, and leading social science research.

    • The LEAD Strategic Planning process typically takes 12 months.

    • LEAD’s executive director, Deacon Peggy Hahn, is carefully guiding us through their proven practices. 

  • Progress to date

    • The St. James LEAD team of Pastor Amy Gillespie (Spiritual Advisor), Steve Thornberry–(Facilitator), Dave Moore (Communicator), Tom and Emily Bohac, Jim Davoux, Tom Ebert, Doug Gerber, Marilyn Koepke, Lisa Kollmorgen, and Susan Olsen participated in the launch seminar the weekend of March 8-10.

    • Since then, the team has been working to discern God’s call, and to reflect on the shared commitment and expectations to each other and the congregation. 

    • We have been grounding ourselves in scripture and most recently studied and discussed the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts 8.

    • Peggy Hahn has interviewed staff and key committee chairpersons to help her gain an understanding of the various ministries, our facilities, and surrounding communities.

  • Next steps

    • Finalize and communicate our Team Covenant to ensure we maintain a culture of trust, collaboration, and creativity.

    • Conduct a Communications Audit to gain better clarity for how to utilize our website and social media to attract more visitors.  And the resources needed for execution.

    • Listening, listening, listening – we will be scheduling congregation “listening sessions” in which we pray and hope everyone will participate.

Please hold our team in your prayers as we listen to the Holy Spirit guiding our work.  We will continue to provide periodic updates and strive to keep everyone informed.  Also, feel free to reach out to any LEAD Team members with questions or comments.

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